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Lake Clinton Bike Trail

Average Rating:    (3.94 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 34

A series of trails working along the bluffs of the lake. There a two main trails marked blue and white with lots of off-shoots to explore. The trails consist of short, technical climbs and descents with lots of rocks and roots to navigate. Some areas can stay wet for an eternity.
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Latitude
38.93858247125804
Longitude
-95.36819458007812
Trail Directions
Take Kansas Hwy 10 west through Lawrence to Douglas County 13. Turn right and then take your first left into Clinton State Park. Follow the road a short distance until you get to the gravel parking area that's on the right. The trailhead is at the corner of the parking area nearest the tree line.
Trail Length
25+ miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Lawrence
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
October 15, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: ss85 ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
One of the better trails in the Kansas City metro area. 25 miles and a skills course of fun riding. Terrain changes east to west from clayey soils and old-ish forest to a more scrub-forest and rockier soils. Trails can stay muddy for awhile in spring but are usually good later in the year. Setup is one big out & back, so pack a tube or two (thorns, rocks) and be sure to have H2O.

Recommended Route:
Blue is a good, intermediate bike trail with a spattering of short, loose climbs, rock gardens, and creek crossings. Tends to be muddy in the spring, perfect 4-5 days after rain in spring, 2-3 in summer/fall.

White is a good, difficult set of rock gardens and climbs with a spattering of bike trail. It's rideable, but I always need to be 'with it' to enjoy myself.

Red is all rock, sometimes underwater (it is a reservoir, y'know), difficult.

The best way to ride Clinton is to pony up the $4 to get in and park at the Marina (or a better, secret spot) or pay $30 for a year pass to ALL KS parks (what a deal!). The east end (free access) of the trails is often soupy and a mess when the rest is good.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Perry Lake. Less-ridden, dries faster, more roots, more elevation change.



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Review Date
April 10, 2009

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 2 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: socnick83 ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
There is a section of trail deemed the Skills Loop in Clinton State Park near the end of the park. It is past campground 3 and right before you hit the last boat ramp parking lot on the north side of the road. This section of trail has a North Shore style to it with multiple wooden structures, teeter totters, jumps, berms, along with a 4 foot ladder drop. This is a great place to hone your MTB skills and try out some new things. The Kansas Trails Council has poured in a lot of time and effort on these trails and it definitely shows. This unique trail is worth checking out. PLEASE pay the utmost respect to the trail and the structures; examine structures before being ridden, don't ride when wet, and shred it!!!!

Recommended Route:
Clinton State park to the last parking lot past campground three. They are on the north side of the road marked by huge railroad tie type of beams on the ground.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Lawrence city freeriding



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Review Date
June 21, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: ZOOM-DH ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
First off, I wish mtbr would come up with a better description of us as riders. Weekend warrior? Come on, get real. How about a description of someone who just rides about 3-4 days a week? Not a racer, not a warrior, not a downhiller, not a mullet. Just an avid rider. Anyway...

There is actually a third trail/route out at Clinton that its builders have been working on for quite a while. In keeping with the color theme, they have given this new trail the dubious title of the Red Trail. And red is a good color for it, as this will likely be the color of some of your body parts if you don't pay attention and have some pretty good handling skills. This trail doesn't waste any time in dropping you right down by the water's edge. But don't take in the scenery too long, as this trail is pretty challenging. It's pretty much nothing but rock. Rock on top of rock, on top of rock that's built on top of more rock. No real climbs here, but that's what makes it a challenge. No climbs means no recovery time on the decents. You're pretty much pedalling over lots of rocks the whole time.

It's a fun little section and definately worth checking out. There are even a few little hidden 2-3 foot drops that you can hit if you keep your eyes open. Other highlights of this Red Trail also include a couple of fun little bridges made from 2x4's and another that is made out of rock (go figure) that goes up and over a fallen tree.

I really can't guess how much time, sweat and beer it took for whoever to build this trail but we all should tip our helmets to them. This trail could not have been an easy build. Not at all. It's still a work in progress as you can see where they are marking further lines along the shore. As of the summer of 2006 it's about a mile long, but don't hold me to that measurement as I do not have any Garmin gadgetry or other technologically advanced apparatus to assist me in distance measurement and I am notorious for telling people I rode 30 miles when I only rode 3. But it will take the average rider about 20 minutes to ride this section of trail.

I really wouldn't rate any of the trails at Clinton as 'flowy' 'groovy' or any other description that involves a smooth rhythm for extended periods. There are flowy sections, but soon you will be dicing your way thru the rocks again.




Recommended Route:
Park at the main trailhead, ride the Blue out to the Red, then back on the Blue clear out to the main boat ramps. Go for a swim and take the Blue back or the 6 mile road back to the main trail head. This is one of the few places around that you can work in a ride n'swim. Take advantage of it.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
LRT (Lawrence River Trails) for lots of flow and ease or head east to Kansas City and there are three or four really nice trails up there.

The only thing keeping Clinton from getting a higher rating (in my worthles opinion anyway) would be that lack of continuous fluidity and the never ending flat tires that you get from the locust tree thorns. But you really can't hold those against its builders. Those trees are everywhere and it ain't like they can just go pulling up every little rock that protrudes out in the middle of the trail. They have done an amazing job of building a great trail in soil conditions that most regions would have given up on and taken up road riding.



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Review Date
March 18, 2006

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: mchaines ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Rocky and rooty, lots of short, steep climbs & descents. The trail marked with white is significantly more difficult than the blue one. Both trails have closely spaced climbs that virtually ensure you'll get a workout, even if you aren't looking for one. Unless you've got really solid technical skills, expect to push your bike up several of the climbs (especially on the white trail). Maybe not the best beginner trail, or the most relaxing ride, but these trails are great for working on bike-handling in the rocks.

Recommended Route:
Blue & white trails run parallel with lots of connectors--take the white trail out from the trailhead, then cut across to the blue trail for a more direct route back (no matter how far you go, you're already two thirds of the way home!) Or, for a quicker ride, take the blue trail out approx. 9 miles to the main park road, then ride back on the pavement for a cool-down.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Kansas river trail



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Review Date
December 7, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: josephfox ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Very fun and fast single track. Not the most technical trail, but if you are looking for a fun time of just cranking out the miles then this trail is perfect. Provides as much of a workout as you want to get, just keep it in the big chaingring and crank it.

Recommended Route:
Stay to the left at the trailhead and go clockwise. Make sure to take advantage of all the jumps and of course the natural bowl around mile 4. It's a good spot for a rest and theres a couple of nice drops in there.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Clinton Lake, Landahl, Smithville lake, and Tiffany Springs Rock quary



Comments
Cyphear (04/07/2012)
This review appears to be for Lawrence River Trail, not Clinton.
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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5